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DSS Uses Torture To Obtain Forced Confessions From Arrested APC Data Center Workers – APC

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the DSS of resorting
to the use of torture to obtain forced confessions from the workers
who were arrested during the first raid on the party’s Data Center in
Ikeja, calling it a contravention of the UN Convention against Torture to which Nigeria is a signatory and a violation of the citizens’ fundamental human rights.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity
Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said for the avoidance of
doubt, it is necessary to quote a relevant section of the UN
Convention to put the DSS on notice that it may be treading on
dangerous ground, as it continues in its efforts to intimidate, harass and weaken the opposition to give the PDP an undue advantage ahead of next year’s polls.

It quoted Part 1 Article 1 of the UN Convention as saying in part:
“For the purpose of this Convention, torture means any act by which
severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession……”

APC said the DSS personnel who arrested the workers shackled their
hands and legs and blindfolded them while they were being taken to
Abuja.
“The workers remained in chains even at the dark detention cell where
they were made to sleep on the bare floor for the 10 days they were
detained illegally, while none of their family members knew their
whereabouts all through their ordeal. Guns were pointed at their heads by DSS personnel who threatened to shoot them, while verbal insults were hauled at them as if they were common criminals. It is simply incredible that Nigerians can be treated like this under a democratic dispensation,” it said.

APC also said a pregnant woman among those who were arrested was
denied access to her drugs even when she started bleeding due to the
torture to which she was subjected by the DSS.
The party said having coerced, tortured and bullied them to say and
write what suits the purpose of the DSS, the agency now gleefully
issued a statement saying what it has found during its investigations, in the wake of the illegal raid on the APC Data Center, will shock the world.

“DSS, Nigerians and indeed the entire world are already shocked by
your actions, including the resort to the use of torture, in violation of an international Convention which Nigeria has signed and ratified, to obtain false information from the arrested APC workers. What more shock can come from an institution of state that treated Nigerian citizens like animals in a gross violation of fundamental human rights?

What more shock can come from an institution of state that has now
so shamelessly become the enforcement arm of the ruling PDP, to such
an extent that it would even engage in untold illegal acts just to
demonize the opposition. What more shock can come from an institution
of state that could resort to this crude tactics even under a
democratic dispensation?” it queried.

APC vowed to seek justice for the innocent Nigerians who were treated
worse than prisoners of war in their own country, by an agency of
state that is maintained with tax payers’ funds, and which is expected to be fair and non-partisan in its operations.

The party also said every legal measure would be taken to ensure that
the DSS does not profit from its wanton use of torture, intimidation
and verbal assault of innocent citizens to obtain forced confessions
just to satisfy its masters.

It reiterated its earlier call on all Nigerians with the necessary
influence, including statesmen, professionals, as well as religious
leaders, to call the DSS to order before it plunges the nation into
chaos with its shameless, unprofessional and crude tactics in support
of desperate power mongers.

“Our democracy is in clear and present danger, not just from desperate politicians, but also from institutions of state that have
compromised in their roles and resorted to crass lawlessness,” APC
said.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)
Lagos, Dec. 5th 2014

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